Call for proposals 2020

 PHOTO: UN Women

Innovation Norway is looking for bold innovation projects aiming to improve humanitarian action that saves lives, alleviates suffering and sustains people’s dignity.

The 2020 call for proposals is now open. We welcome humanitarian UN agencies and Norwegian humanitarian organisations (NGOs) to apply.

We support innovation projects lead by humanitarian organisations where the expertise and technical know-how from the private sector have a role in solving humanitarian challenges. The Programme supports both early stage innovation (Innovation Lab) and scaling and diffusion of solutions that have proven to be successful at the pilot stage (Scaling and Diffusion Programme). Please see the requirements for both programmes at the bottom of the page.

The Humanitarian Innovation Programme is a grant and support mechanism, fully financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administered by Innovation Norway.


Who can apply?

  • UN agencies with a humanitarian mandate
  • Norwegian humanitarian organisations* with an international mandate

*The organisation must be registered in the Brønnøysund Register, have an office in Norway and a Norwegian Board.

The grant scheme mobilises and supports humanitarian-private partnerships. The humanitarian organisation/agency is the applicant and receiver of the grant. Private companies cannot apply.

Projects involving multiple partner organisations are encouraged. The lead applicant is the receiver of the grant and redistributes to project partners.


What are we looking for
The Humanitarian Innovation Programme is looking for bold ideas that seek to improve resilience against natural disasters or improve humanitarian response in crises and conflict, specifically projects addressing issues related to:

  • Protection: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts that contribute to protecting people from violence, abuse and violation of international law due to humanitarian crises. Applications focusing on protection from sexual and gender-based violence are encouraged.
  • Green humanitarian response: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts that contribute to more sustainable and more environmentally friendly solutions within humanitarian aid.
  • Cash transfer programming: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts to provide direct distribution of money rather than traditional relief items to people affected by crises.
  • Health and sanitation: Humanitarian organisations’ efforts to ensure lifesaving basic health services, including prevention/control of pandemics, efforts within women’s, children’s and young people’s health, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and psycho-social support, and the provision of facilities and services for the maintenance of hygienic conditions and the safe disposal of human waste.


Call for proposals 2020:
NOK 35 million is allocated to innovation and scaling projects in 2020.

  • Applications for Innovation Lab projects may range from NOK 4-6 million (or up to NOK 8 million for multiagency projects with 3 or more agency partners)
  • Applications for Scaling and Diffusion projects may range from NOK 2-10 million

The total funding allocated for each programme is subject to applications received.

Start a new application here

Continue an existing application here


Call timeline and process:
The application deadline is Friday 3. July, 4pm CET.

Shortlisted projects will be invited for a 20-minute pitch/interview in front of an Innovation Norway panel on 1. September. All applicants are encouraged to mark this date in their calendars. Shortlisted candidates will receive 3-5 questions about their project in advance and will be given 10 minutes to respond to those questions. There will also be 10 minutes for follow-up questions from the panel. We ask that relevant leadership is represented at the pitch; head of department/ section/ country office or similar.

Requirements for the Programme



Click here to download the call in PDF format.

Click here to download a word version of the application form (please note that all applications must be submitted through the online application form).

For questions, read up on FAQs or contact one of our advisors.